EDITOR / ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Set in Chicago's labyrinth of alleys, Scrappers is a verite portrait of Oscar and Otis, two metal scavengers searching for a living with brains, brawn and battered up trucks. The film shows how the 2008 financial collapse and crackdowns on undocumented immigrants affect these men and their families.
Winner of Best Documentary Feature and Audience Award at the 2010 Chicago Underground Film Festival. The film was rated 3.5 stars by Roger Ebert who later named it one of the Best Documentaries of 2010.
“Scrappers is...the definitive record of a vast underground culture. Who drives those spray-painted trucks with high walls full of battered appliances, and what happens to the things they collect?... Scrappers travels with two hardworking men and their families through three years of life at the margins of fickle industry. The patient and curious camera reveals a Chicago of informal economies, not just the ins and outs of collecting scrap metal, but bargains with neighbors through car windows and child-care arrangements made when everybody works and no one has money. Like their subjects, the filmmakers are quick on their toes and have their eyes wide open to the luck of circumstance; their captured goods range from the tenderly human to the violently mechanized. We notice every cat that wanders through the frame and peek into every pot cooking on a stove. The familiar aspect of Chicago’s alleyways is rendered uncanny with gliding, truck’s-eye-view camera work. Long wordless sequences of cars being compressed and copper being turned from cables to dust are buoyed by Chicago percussionist Frank Rosaly’s optimistic workday funk score (performed on found metal objects). With the exception of a handful of well-placed inter-titles, Scrappers lets the subjects and images do all the telling of both the personal stories about making ends meet and the big political story about a crashing economy and the crashing price of metals. They are the same and different stories at once; the connections are deep and plain. Documentaries rarely balance deep involvement with such a light touch. The result is essential.” — Cine-File
Rent or buy it on Itunes here.